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New Music for July

There seems to come a point in every musician’s life when he or she decides it’s time to go back to the beginning. Country star Dierks Bentley has done just that on "Up on the Ridge." The CD includes guest appearances by the Punch Brothers, Miranda Lambert, Kris Kristofferson and Del McCoury (covering U2) – rather brilliantly using an old-time sound for very contemporary music.

From a slightly earlier generation, Jackson Browne returns with a new collection of songs. One of the kings of the singer/songwriter era, Browne (joined by long-time collaborator David Lindley) continues to be true to his earlier work with "Love is Strange." The CD is something of an acoustic retrospective, recorded live with other guest artists in Spain in 2006.

I first met fiddler Jeremy Kittel at Folk Alliance in San Diego. He was just starting out and it’s been great to follow his career as he’s developed as an artist. Although he began playing (and winning competitions with) traditional Scottish music, his repertoire has expanded to include folk and jazz influences – truly expanding his sound and reaching a broader audience. A new member of the Grammy Award-winning Turtle Island Quartet, his new solo CD is "Chasing Sparks."

It must be a real challenge to come up with the perfect band name. So, even though I really like "Moonscapes" from Dangermuffin, I’m not so sure about the name. But that could just be me, since they play in the jam-based tradition of String Cheese Incident and Disco Biscuits. Dangermuffin will be touring like crazy this summer, playing both festival and concert gigs. Or, listen for them on FolkAlley.com!

More music to take with you on your summer tour:

Blue Line Highway – "Almost Reel"

Tift Merritt – "See You on the Moon"

Terri Hendrix – "Cry Til You Laugh"

Mighty Squirrel – "Sqworld Record"

John Fullbright – "Live at the Blue Door"

Keller & The Keels – "thief"

The Galen Kipar Project – "The Scenic Route"

The John Hartford String Band – "Memories of John"

Amelia Curran – "Hunter Hunter"

Storyhill – "Shade of the Trees"

Justin Rutledge – "The Early Widows"

Steve Smith and Chris Sanders – "Signs Along the Road"

Forest Sun – "Harlequin Goodnight"

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